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Divorce: is it possible to DIY?

December 1, 2021

Megan Ryan-Loughran discusses the divorce process and answers this common question.

Sometimes, relationships just end. It might not be the fault of either spouse, the relationship may have just run its course, or there may have been a triggering incident but the parties remain on relatively good terms. Is it necessary for all divorcing couples to have their ‘day in court’, or can matters be resolved amicably?

It is not possible to obtain a divorce in England and Wales without the court’s input, as it is the court who grants the Conditional Order and Final Order, but it is possible for the Family Court to grant a divorce without either party ever needing to physically attend a hearing.

The divorce process can be relatively straightforward;

  • An application is submitted to the court confirming to the court that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
  • The court processes the application and sends the Respondent (the other spouse) the Application, with a form to complete and return.
  • After the period of reflection, the court can grant a conditional order and thereafter the final order

Delays can occur if there are errors on the divorce application or the process isn’t followed properly. Our divorce solicitors can take the stress out of the process by dealing with the divorce for you along with any financial matters or issues about the arrangements for children.

It’s important that you realise getting a divorce only brings a marriage to an end and if there are additional factors to consider, such as finances and the arrangements for any children, that these are dealt with separately to the divorce process. However, it is also possible to deal with these amicably without the need to go to court.

All of our divorce solicitors are members of resolution. The Resolution website has a wide variety of information and links to organisations (such as mediation and arbitration) that can help you with resolving issues about children or finances, if appropriate. Resolving issues early on can avoid delays and complications down the line.

In some cases, mediation may not be appropriate (such as where there are allegations of domestic abuse), and we frequently help people who have not been able to come to an agreement about children or finances. If the situation is still too emotive at the moment but you do think that an amicable separation could be achieved, consider instructing solicitors to assist. Our divorce solicitors can provide you with individual, tailored advice and also take over negotiations with your spouse so you don’t have to.

If you would like more advice on the divorce process and what it entails, contact our team of specialists today at familysolicitor@afglaw.co.uk or call 01204 920109.